Laurel graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Comparative Literature and a minor in Creative Writing from Princeton University. At Princeton, she won both academic and creative prizes, including the Ward Mathis Prize for best short story three years in a row, and the Martin A. Dale Fellowship, which allowed her to spend a summer writing short stories in Mexico City. Also at Princeton, she helped numerous students through the SAT and college admissions process as a private tutor. After teaching reading and writing to young students in Singapore for a year, Laurel returned to the States to earn an MFA in Fiction at Cornell University. There, she also taught creative writing workshops and freshman writing seminars at Cornell and won several teaching awards for her work, including the Gertrude Spencer Prize for collaboration between a writing instructor and student. Laurel was recently awarded a month-long residency at the Jentel artists' colony in Wyoming, where she began work on a novel. She also is in her third year of a PhD program at Florida State University in Creative Writing.
Laurel grew up in sunny California but has spent her adult life on the East Coast. Perhaps this explains why she loves to travel—she has traveled to every continent except Antarctica! She speaks French and Spanish, and in addition to reading and writing, she loves movies and getting to know her new home base of Tallahassee.
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